Local dentist’s office adjusting to new guidelines


BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — During the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses were forced to close their doors. For about two months, dental offices were closed, expect for emergency situations. Now, those practices can see their patients again.

Steven Childress is a dentist in Beckley. He said they are following the guidelines from the CDC, the American Dental Association, and the Board of Dentistry.

“We use face shields, level 3 or N95 equivalent masks,” Childress said. “We changed out to full length gowns daily or soiled, their guidelines state weekly but we came together as a group and decided at least daily.”

Childress said they opened last week after getting the green light from the dentistry board and the Governor; however, there are some challenges. It is nearly impossible to stay six feet away from patients in the dentist chair, but Childress said his practice is taking all of the necessary precautions.

“One thing we are doing is we are doing full chair covers,” Childress said. “Extra suction for anything that is going to create more air soles. There have been some papers published that certain techniques and ways to run suction reduces the air soles from 8 feet to 3 feet or less, so we honed in on those skills.”

Patients are also required to call the office once they arrive. Childress said they are screening everyone coming in for an appointment.

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